I’m not entirely sure that the origin of homosexuality is that important. I find that obsession about the cause of something is often cloaked in the idea that in order to solve a problem you have to understand how it came to be. In some cases, it is important to understand the origin of something to effectively deal with it. In the case of homosexual desire, I don’t think this is the case. Let me explain how things came to be in my life, as a way to illustrate that it doesn’t matter.
I was first introduced to the idea of sex in third grade. A classmate made a crude comment, and a gesture that piqued my curiosity. I was nine, and curious. I wondered how sex worked. I really had no idea. I didn’t get that bit of information until about two years later. It was then that I was introduced to the concept of masturbation. I engaged in it frequently. All the while, the opposite sex was the object of fantasy. Not all of the fantasy was sexual. some was domestic. I imagined being married to the person with whom I was dancing at the church dance.
The first time I remember being exposed to any sort of emotional display between guys was when I was hugged at church on day by a missionary. I was fond of him before this. I loved the missionaries. They were the epitome of cool. I imagine this is largely because they were older than me, and I saw them much in the same light as I saw my older siblings. (They were all idolized)
This elder walked up to me and gave me a hug. He said that he wasn’t allowed to hug women, so he was going to hug me instead. He was already my favorite, but that made me love him even more. (note, this was a fraternal emotion.) This love of him stayed with me, though it didn’t remain attached to him.
I believe it was from him that I derived my theory on overweight men. The theory is that they are more likely to be polarized in terms of their interactions with others. This polarization, according to my theory, is due to societal disapproval of being overweight. The poles that then develop as a response are on the one hand a bitterness that permeates the man’s personality, or a friendly kindness (sometimes shy, sometimes outgoing) that is used to compensate and gain friends in spite of physical characteristics that may have otherwise inhibited the formation of friendships.
My affection for that missionary became an affection for overweight men in general. In fact the first guy I ever had a sexual fantasy about was an overweight friend I met in junior high school, as was the second. I began to mix the emotional connection I felt with those young men, and the sexual feelings that were more and more constant in my life. Because I mixed the two (and to be clear, it was only fantasy at that point.) I started to question my feelings.
I didn’t really trust where my feelings were coming from. I genuinely cared about my friends, and I felt terrible about objectifying them. (I may not have known to attach that term to it at the time….) They were my friends, and I loved them. I was afraid of that love, because of the mixture it made within my brain. Good people love each other. They don’t objectify one another.
This is where the cognitive dissonance came in. (another term I didn’t know at the time.) Because both genuine love and improper sexual desire were directed at the same person, I doubted that the love could be a good thing. I saw my love for my friends as evil. It wasn’t until I received my patriarchal blessing that I started to parse things.
I am not one who shares things from a patriarchal blessing lightly, but as there is nothing about the topic at hand that is light, it is appropriate that I bring you in to the positives in my life as well. I was told that among the gifts I was given, a love for my fellow man was one of them. when I heard that, I thought to myself, “ok, that’s where that comes from.”
The dissonance didn’t go away, but an understanding that some of my feelings came from God certainly gave a measure of comfort. Unfortunately, it did not lead to the other feelings abating.
I found large men to be aesthetically pleasing. During my freshman year at BYU, one of my roommates was a large man, as was another one of my best friends. I’m not really sure if it was my attraction to them that morphed into love for them, or the other way around, though I believe it to be Love turned to physical attraction. I showed my affection for them, which was less well received by one than by the other. It was this aspect of aesthetic attraction that eventually led me to start looking at homosexual pornography.
The thing is, other than as a cautionary tale, I don’t think that it is useful to know the origins. I feel that the more important piece is whatever will keep me from engaging in homosexual activities in the present and future. The past is of little consequence, especially when viewed in light of the atonement.
I do not believe that homosexuality is caused by an overabundance of this or a lack of that, and that by decreasing the former or increasing the latter it will magically disappear. Homosexuality is much more complex than that, and as such cannot be dealt with solely by understanding the origin of the issue. Were it the case, the modern marvels of computational analytics would have been able to find the causal relationship between the input and the effect.
The source of homosexuality has been debated and will continue to be debated. In spite of evidence showing correlation with certain physical markers, and far fetched birth order theories, the simple fact remains that every action a human being undertakes has at its root a decision, the choice to engage in sexual activity, regardless of the origin of the desire, remains a choice that can be made, and can be not made.
It is this idea of choice that forces the origins to abdicate their place on the pedestal of supreme importance. In fact, it is the very reason one may hope to overcome homosexual desires, should one choose to desire to do so.